NHRC boss decries poor feeding of suspects in SARS detention

.…Laments activities of some security agents

The Executive Secretary of the National Human Right Commission (NHRC) and the chairman, Presidential Investigation Panel (PIP) on the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force, Mr. Tony Ojukwu has called for improved feeding of people detained in SARS’ facilities in Abuja.

Ojukwu, who made the call at the weekend after the presidential investigation panel visited SARS’ detention facilities said, even though there are improvement in other areas of the detention centers, the inmates are looking haggard because of poor feeding.

According to the panel boss, the health facilities in the overcrowded detention centers need to be improved to adequately take care of the medical needs of those in detention.

Tony lamented that, there are lots of people detained by SARS’ operatives for over one year, without been taken to court, a development, he noted was unfair and called on relevant authorities to do the needful by taking suspects to court to defend themselves.

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While condemning the detention of police officers together with criminals in the same cell, the NHRC boss said, “It is unfair and dehumanizing for police, fighting criminals to be in the same detention cell with criminals”.

In the same vein, Ojukwu expressed concern on the activities of some security personnel whom he said exhibit high level of unprofessional conduct in handling civil matters reported before them.

The NHRC boss noted that the unprofessional conduct of some of the law enforcement agents has contributed to congestion in Police cells, prisons and other detention centers across the country as civil cases are viewed as criminal matters leading to unnecessary detention of victims.

Ojukwu cautioned lawyers to always advise their clients against turning civil cases like breach of contract to criminal matters, so as not to jeopardize their integrity and urged members of SARS to always act within the ambit of the law in discharging their official duties.

In a related development, the Panel has ordered that a representative of the Governor of Gombe State who is a nominal complainant in the case of alleged, “Police gruesome torture and murder of John Okon between 8th -13th day of November, 2018”, to appear before it today to give information that could assist the Panel unearth the truth in the matter.

Okon was alleged to have died on 13th November, last year as a result of multiply beatings and torture while in the
custody SARS headed by one SP Jummai of Anti-Crime Department, Gabasawa, Police Headquarters in Kaduna state.

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